Five young kittens with a difficult start in life

Since starting the Mary Phelan Neonatal Program four years ago, the Montreal SPCA has helped hundreds of orphaned kittens.

This year, our challenge is greater than ever, as we have been receiving more neonatal kittens than in the past.

Did you know that caring for a kitten requires 26 hours per week on average, which can easily double if the kitten is sick?

Did you know that on average, 85% of the kittens rescued are younger than four weeks?

Read the story of five of our little residents who, without their mother, had little chance of survival.  


Little Lupin was found under a balcony. The kitten was only 10 days old when he was brought to the Montreal SPCA. The high-pitched meows of this tiny orphan clearly said he was very hungry. Once warmed and fed, he was placed in a foster family who had been trained in our program for neonatal kittens.   

One morning, despite around-the-clock care, the foster family found Lupin in a lethargic state. He was rushed in to us at the Montreal SPCA and examined by our veterinary team. Lupin finally recovered after three days of fluid therapy. The almost six-week-old kitten is full of energy and beginning his socialization with his furry adoptive brothers and sisters!     

Help orphaned and vulnerable kittens, like Lupin.


Weighing only 84 g at birth, Purrcy was born to a mother who was so young she didn’t know how to take care of her baby. Fed with a tube the first night, the kitten was put back with his mother the next day. We wanted to see if she would take care of him, but it was in vain: she ignored the kitten, who was losing weight rapidly. To ensure his survival, we separated Purrcy from his mother and placed him in a foster family. At 19 days of age, Puurcy weighed only 165 g; he should have been twice as big at this stage of development. At one month, he was behaving like a two-week-old kitten, just lying on his blanket and not exploring or trying to use his litter box.

Thanks to good care from the Montreal SPCA and his foster family, Purrcy finally gained muscle mass at the age of six weeks. He is still small, but his condition is now stable and he has started playing.

Support our program to save more kittens like Purrcy.

Lulu and Leo

Four kittens, born outside and to a feral cat, caught a passerby’s attention recently. After a few days, the mother and one of the kittens seemed to have left the area. However, when one of the babies was found dead, they placed an emergency call to the Montreal SPCA. We immediately took care of Lulu and Leo, the two surviving orphans, who were very weak.

Sicklier than her brother, Lulu was limp. Given both kittens’ condition, we feared for their lives. But with their foster family’s care and our constant monitoring, the kittens eventually regained their strength.

At five weeks, the babies’s development had almost caught up to their age group. Spending their time playing and snuggled together, they are now well on their way to a happy life.

Give life a second chance.


Barely two days old, Smudge arrived at the Montreal SPCA shelter very cold and covered in larvae. He was immediately sent to the veterinary clinic. Once his condition stabilized, the baby was immediately placed with an experienced foster family trained in our Mary Phelan Neonatal Program for orphaned kittens. However, even after two weeks, Smudge was still unstable and not gaining enough weight, despite good care. We truly feared for his life.

Smudge began to improve a few weeks later. However, his foster family noticed something strange about his front legs. The Montreal SPCA veterinarians indeed confirmed Smudge had a deformity in his elbows. This deformity does not affect his quality of life or movement.

After spending over six months with us, Smudge is now fully recovered. Full of energy and joy, he and his foster brother are inseparable. The two healthy young cats were adopted together.

Help orphaned kittens like Smudge.

For a fourth year, the Mary Phelan Neonatal Program allows us to provide for orphaned kittens, often from their first days of life.  

Your donations allow us to purchase and provide survival kits to our foster families so they can meet the urgent needs of abandoned kittens.  

Save the lives of kittens who, without your help, would not survive.

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